Positional Plagiocephaly: What Moms Need to Know About Baby’s Flat Head

Positional Plagiocephaly: What Moms Need to Know About Baby’s Flat Head

Welcome, moms! As a parent, it’s normal to have concerns about your baby’s development, especially when it comes to their head shape. Positional plagiocephaly, commonly known as flat head syndrome, is a condition that many babies experience. In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know about positional plagiocephaly, including causes, prevention, and treatment options.

What is positional plagiocephaly?

Positional plagiocephaly occurs when a baby develops a flat spot on their head due to prolonged pressure in one area. This can happen if a baby spends too much time lying in the same position, such as in a crib or car seat. While mild cases of positional plagiocephaly are common and usually resolve on their own, severe cases may require treatment.

Causes of positional plagiocephaly

There are several factors that can contribute to the development of positional plagiocephaly, including:

  • Prolonged time spent lying on the back

  • Using baby gear, such as car seats or swings, for extended periods

  • Having limited neck movement, such as due to muscle tightness or torticollis

Preventing positional plagiocephaly

While it’s not always possible to prevent positional plagiocephaly, there are some steps you can take to decrease your baby’s risk:

  • Give your baby plenty of supervised tummy time when they are awake

  • Alternate the direction your baby sleeps each night to reduce pressure on the same spot

  • Avoid keeping your baby in one position for extended periods

Treatment options

If your baby develops positional plagiocephaly, there are several treatment options available, including:

  • Repositioning techniques to help shift pressure away from the flat spot

  • Physical therapy to improve neck strength and range of motion

  • Helmet therapy, in severe cases, to help reshape the baby’s head

It’s important to consult with your pediatrician if you notice any signs of positional plagiocephaly so they can provide guidance on the best course of action for your baby.


Remember, positional plagiocephaly is a common condition that many babies experience. By being aware of the causes, prevention strategies, and treatment options, you can help ensure the best outcome for your little one. If you have any concerns about your baby’s head shape, always consult with your pediatrician for personalized advice and support.


Q: Is positional plagiocephaly a serious condition?

A: In most cases, positional plagiocephaly is a benign condition that resolves on its own with repositioning and time. However, severe cases may require intervention.

Q: How long does it take for positional plagiocephaly to improve?

A: Mild cases of positional plagiocephaly may show improvement within a few weeks to months with repositioning techniques. Severe cases may take longer to see improvement.

Q: Can helmet therapy be uncomfortable for my baby?

A: Helmet therapy is well-tolerated by most babies and is typically not painful. The helmets are designed to gently reshape the head over time.